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The Benefits of Pumpkin for Your Cat and Dog

It is that time of year again when pumpkin spice takes over our food and drinks! Did you know that pumpkin is not only good for you, but it can also be incredibly beneficial for your cat and dog too?! Pumpkin has many nutrients, including vitamin A, zinc, potassium and vitamin C. All of which can contribute to a number of health issues your cat or dog may have.

-Pumpkin can be a huge help to your dog’s health and can ensure they have healthy, normal poops. Surprisingly pumpkin has the unique ability to help aid in both constipation and diarrhea. The fibre helps with constipation, and the pumpkin itself can add bulk and form to your dog’s poop.

-Vitamin A and zinc can help improve your pet’s skin and coat. In addition to making your pet’s coat shine, the added moisture causes the skin to flake less and less hair to shed! Your carpets, furniture and clothing will thank you for adding some much-needed pumpkin to your pet’s diet.

-The potassium in pumpkin can help regulate blood pressure, improves muscle health and can even assist in metabolism.

-Having trouble getting your dog to lose a couple of pounds? Replacing a bit of your dog’s regular food with some pumpkin can aid in your pet’s weight loss. The fibre and water in the pumpkin will keep them full even if they are eating fewer calories.

-The high moisture content of pumpkin easily adds more water to your pet’s diet.

-And of course, Pumpkin tastes great! So, there is no need to add anything to it. Simply add the plain pumpkin to your pet’s regular meal, and they are sure to love it and gobble it up!

If you are buying canned pumpkin from the store, be sure to get plain pumpkin. No need for any added fats and spices. Halloween is just around the corner, and there will undoubtedly be an abundance of pumpkins around! Instead of throwing out your carved pumpkin after the trick or treaters have made their rounds you can cut it in half and cook it in the oven. Wait for it to cool then you can spoon out all that healthy pumpkin and throw away the skin. A great way to store the excess pumpkin would be to cube it up, put it into baggies, and store it in the freezer for treats all year round.

Talk to your veterinarian about how much pumpkin to safely give your pet since it will vary depending on your pet’s size and current diet.

Written By: Alaina Langford, ACA

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